Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Are you ready?

I have created another blog to enable a cyber writing group. It can be found here. I have posted the first prompt. All those who are keen to become members, kindly send in your mail id to nkeats@gmail.com, so I can mail you the invites. Even otherwise, just post the story in your blog n leave the link as a comment. Either options are fine with me.

Hope you guys have fun with the first prompt. As for the mail id, I had to choose a fictitious name when I worked in a call centre in Chennai. I chose Nicole Keats. Nicole was the heroine of the 'Rama' series by A.C.Clarke, my favourite book and Keats, well if I had to have a surname, it could never be anyone else's.

Thursday, April 20, 2006

Writing Workshop - IX

Prompt: Start with 'The first time I heard about him/her...'

The first time I heard about him I had a feeling. Not one of those spine-chilling, nerve-wrecking ones but more like pressing daffodils to your diary and saving it for that special reason. Now is that a feeling? Maybe not, but you get the idea.

Anyways, he was in the same conference as my cubicle mate and apparently he handled a tough business proposition with aplomb. And that's when I knew he was my man, I mean, he could take care of all our bills; he will know exactly how much we should tip that snooty waitress in The Courtyard, what percentage of his, err, our income we should save to visit Paris for our second anniversary honeymoon... He is just right.

Now all I need to do is meet him. I can't just settle for weird Math skills now, can I ? I need to check out how he looks. Especially when he is this whiz kid. You know, I read in one of those Science journals, yeah those drab ones you find in your physician's office. Now, don't get me wrong but who reads such books? No pictures of Hunks with flawless skin or a model in an eye-catching bikini, I mean why would anyone want to look at scars and those tiny, tiny dots called cells? Anyways, this journal said that people who are good in Math need extra brains, so their heads are much bigger than ours. Imagine if He was like that? Sheesh.

But all these whiz kids are not weird for just that reason. They hardly ever think you can count. Take me for instance, I can calculate 25% of a Rs500 cashmere sweater in the seconds it takes to snip the price tag. It is Rs150. You'd think this would move him, nah! it is never enough. But this time I have a masterplan. I have Karma on my side.

No idiot! Karma is not his mother. Karma is this big bag of brownie points that you get when you do something selfless and good. I definitely had tons of it. Like that time when i gave up my cookie to that homeless man, I am sure that counted for 20 points. I know it was a stale one and I hated that smell, but still you know, I could've thrown it away. And that other time when I gave up my seat in the bus. I know if I had sat, that chewing gum would have stuck to my new white skirt but please, nobody, and I mean nobody helps nowadays. So by that standard, I'm sure I am the new age Mother Teresa. I think I should write to the Pope. You know, spread the word.

Anyway, I know it worked because how else do you explain the fact that he was at the railway station, at exactly the same moment I walked in to receive Mom? I felt I should just walk over to him. Mom? Oh she's heard about this city so much I'm sure she can find her way to my apartment. Of course, she wouldn't have the key but then what's a few minutes in the sun to a lifetime with a good looking son-in-law? I looked at him. He wasn't really tall but tall enough for me to stand on tiptoes to kiss him. Just like the heroine in that super hit romantic movie.

I smoothed my skirt anad walked stylishly to him and said, "Hi. I am Kumari". He looked at me quizzically and slowly smiled as realisation dawned, "Hi! You're the girl who jammed the copier in our wing. Did you really think you can copy that picture on your handkerchief?"

The first time I heard about him, I knew he was a JACKASS.

Monday, April 17, 2006

Mid-Afternoon Wisdom

The quickest way to a man's heart is...

... through his Rib Cage!

3000 words or more

How can there be a vacation without pictures? Here are a few from the trip, tho none that include the couple, to avoid bringing attention to the ever-growing waistline of The Mr, thanks to The Missus' wonderful cuisine :)

Plus, well-meaning friends & family members have already pointed the similarity between The Missus and The Beach Ball( All you people, you know who you are, you are excluded from my Gifts List). So do get bored with these while I try to work some photoshop magic on our snaps before I upload them here.

The first is Cinderella's Castle from Disney's Magic Kingdom. The second is the Epcot centre and the third is a sample of the Jungle parade in Disney's Animal Kingdom.

Did you know

that Thenali was an improvised remake of 'What about Bob?', the wonderful Bill Murray movie??

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Random My Ass

Apr 4, 2006
The Missus spent the day doing some last minute packing, none of it including stuff we would use eventually but like I said, packing is an art and who said it made sense? The flight was at 3.40 P.M. The Mr who left office at 12 noon asking The Missus to be ready as the taxi was expected at 2pm, managed to drop his bulk at the doorstep only at 1.40 P.M. Hmpf! And they say women keep men waiting.

2.20 P.M. and still no sign of taxi.
Missus: "Btw, you do have our passports ready right?"
Mr: "I have mine. where is yours?"
Missus: "What?!! Ddn't I give it to you the other day?"
Mr: " Yes you did but I brought it right back home. It should be in that white envelope, somewhere."

Cursing The Mr, Missus runs two flights of stairs, finds the passport, manages to change into her new Reebok running shoes instead of the old and comfortable Nike ones (You have to look smart for Mickey), changes her jacket and runs back downstairs to an amused Mr who couldn't fathom how she managed all in the span of 3 minutes :D

Taxi finally arrived and we made it to the airport well in time. At the security check, the guard pulled aside The Mr for some "extra scrutinizing". The ladies who inspected me asked me to move out with my baggage as I was in the clear. Then one of them said, "But if she is minor, we have to detain her too." I said, "I am 25 and I am his wife" to which she replied, "Oh but you look so young." I was so elated, I just smiled at The Mr who was being diligently questioned by the stern American guard. After 10 minutes, he was let free, with an 'SSSS' marked in red on his boarding pass. To his query why they picked him, the guard had said, "Just a random check." The Mr quoted the famous line from Inside Man, "Random my ass!" :D

Apr 4, 2006 9.30P.M.
We checked into Howard Johnsson only to find that they hadn't booked the suite for us. What? And we lugged the $100 worth of food and utensils all the way from Nashua to eat at Arby's? After a few minutes of haggling with the desk clerk, we finally got him to give us an oven & fridge by next morning. The room was clean, lotsa space with 2 double beds of which one was solely dedicated to throw our clothes around. Home away from home, indeed :p
Apr 5, 2006 7.30 A.M.
Now prior to leaving Nashua, I had filled up 2 Excel sheets with an hourly timetable of what we'll do each day. And almost all of it depended on us getting out of hotel by 8 A.M. But try as you might, it is tough to get out from under a quilt. I nudged The Mr, saying he being the leader, should wake up first. He threw it right back at me saying that I needed hours to get ready so I should get up first. After 15 mins of haggling, I finally sulked my way to the bath.
An 8 A.M call to the Car Rental Agency put all our plans into disarray as we were informed our pick-up would arrive only at 9.30 A.M. Our dejection soared when we realised the hotel's free 'continental breakfast' included just orange juice, coffee and different kinds of pastries. Pray do tell me which continent eats like this?? Not one to give up, I cajoled The Mr into bringing our chappathis and channa masala down to the reception and heating it in their oven. I mean, which sane person eats Banana cake for breakfast? I can eat 3 bars of Snickers but Banana Cake??
10.30 A.M and 3 frantic calls later, we're still waiting for that '9.30 A.M' pick-up. The Missus was all pouty and grumpy which made The Mr edgier. This vacation wasn't going according to plan at all. Hell! It was more like an April Fool's Joke. The car finally arrived at 11 A.M with a tanned and profusely apologising driver. The Rental Agency gave us an extra day free as we had to wait so long. Yay! there is a God after all. The Mr gave me a look to say, "See, it was well worth the wait" to which I tried to come up with a witty retort and failed miserably.
And finally, The Mr and his Missus, slowly made their way to Disney World- MGM Studios.
Travel stories will be continued later as I am finally blessed with sleep :)
Just one more day in Disney :(

A Planned Vacation is an Urban Myth

Travelogue - 1

For the first time in my life, I found myself loving the fact that The Mr is a geek. I mean, if it wasn't for that, why would his Manager ask him to attend a conference on Exchange Connections or some such uninteresting topic in Orlando, Florida? Three cheers for The Mr :D And the icing on the cake, the conference was being held at Disney Swan. Yippee!! The plan was to stay for 3 more days after conf, to roam around Disney World.

D-Day minus 7
The Missus spent an afternoon browsing 'Things to Do in Orlando' and had a brainwave. Why not go to Orlando earlier??? Nudged The Mr from his O'Reilly-induced-slumber and convinced him that it's better to spend the last few days in Disney, wallowing in Swan's luxury as against consulting maps and trying to find a less-expensive hotel close to the theme parks. Thanks to my sweet-talking, re-booked flight tickets to April 4th, reserved a suite in Howard Johnsson* and started packing :)

Now packing your suitcase for a trip is an art by itself. An art which I am not yet the master of. The trip was for 9 days of which 5 were meant for conference. So I packed The Mr's formals and added a couple of Tshirts and shorts. The wardrobe of a girl is never that simple. Do I take the yellow blouse? If yes, then I need the pair of dark blue jeans and a non-denim jacket coz denim on denim is a strict No-No. But then again, i can't carry 2 jackets, that would mean loss of precious space for my skirts. Think, think. It ain't that tough. Finally, I decided denim on denim was better for travel and threw in 4 blouses, 3 capris, 5 T shirts, 1 skirt, 3 shirts and 4 camisoles.

Digression 1: On the 3rd day of vacation, a bleary-eyed Mr opened his bag to see no new Tees. I had completely forgot to pack extra sets of casual wear for him, in my quest for the perfect bag for moi. The dirty looks The Missus received would have scorched her, if it weren't for the fact that The Mr was too tired :p

The Million travel guides on the net had told us how costly food is in DW. So we packed a bag of readymade chappathis, bisibelabath, mutter paneer and the likes to tide us over. And to make it easy, we had booked the suite with oven n fridge. Muhahaha! Now I can spend the dollars saved, on souvenirs I probably won't remember where i kept after I bought them :)

* Howard Johnsson is a decent hotel, very clean and at a affordable rate of $50 per nite. Much less than $200 per night at Swan.

Other Side of the World *

As a little girl, I've always longed to be in a world like this; a world of unbridled joy, a world where all your wishes are granted and your dreams come true, a world of fantasy so real that you never want to leave; when every day is magical from dawn to dusk, bathed in the beautiful Florida Sun, embraced by chill winds that make you want to hug Donald Duck longer than you should, the pixie dust that makes you ride rainbows and touch stars -- Welcome to Disney World!


I have just 2 more days here at Disney World, and I can already feel the withdrawal symptoms in me. Spent all morning cuddled in the heavenly bed of our hotel room, staring at the green lawns and jubilant fountains of a make-believe world. The world of opulence and luxury.
This is the best time to pen my travelogue, while I am still lost in memories of the past one week.

So here goes, my Ode to Magic.
Or as they say here, "Once Upon A Dream..."

* Song by KT Tunstall. My new favourite singer :)

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

Why Goodbye?

Why not?

I would love to stop there, but i won't :D

Well, the Little Girl is off to play with Tweety, dance with Prince Charming(if he can be lured away from Cinderella, that is) , shake hands with Mickey & Donald and play a prank on Bugs teaming with Daffy. With so much going on, there's hardly any time to write :p

Hopefully I will come back.
Till then, Have an Ass-Kicking April!

Sidenote: Ice Age-2 is good if you can rent the DVD for free from the local lib. Not worth the $20 spent on tickets and the long drive nagging The Mr to take me there. Of course, Sid was awesome as usual :)